U18 Report: Spurs 1-1 Saints

By SFC Media time Sat 03 Feb Tottenham v Saints
Photo by James Bridle | Christoph Klarer
Sat 03 Feb 11.30AM
U18 Premier League
Spurs
1
Southampton
1
Griffiths [48']
goal
Ramsay [19']
yellow card
Hamblin [44']
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre | Attendance: 0

Southampton's youngsters earned a share of the spoils on the road at Spurs, battling to a hard-fought point, after Kayne Ramsay's opener was cancelled out by Reo Griffiths's second-half penalty.

A courageous display, the draw takes Saints' unbeaten league run to seven games - winning six of those - having climbed steadily up the league since November.

For all its quality, Ramsay's acrobatic finish perhaps deserved to be the decisive goal, but the home side emerged the stronger in the second period, and Saints were forced to battle their way to a share of the points.

Southampton conceded most of the possession first half, but were tactically more astute than their Tottenham counterparts - absorbing pressure, while playing on the counter.

The opening chance fell the way of Saints' trialist striker, who latched on to Jonathan Afolabi's driven cross, flicking goalward, without enough purchase on the ball to trouble Jonathan de Bie.

Involved again in the 12th minute, Afolabi cut inside, before striking from distance, but again de Bie saved comfortably, as the effort skidded awkwardly off the wet surface.

Sean Brennan tried his luck from range moments later, striking the ball centrally with power, as it stung the gloves of de Bie - who was by far the busier of the two 'keepers - before the resulting corner was nodded wide by Harry Hamblin.

Arguably against the run of play, but capitalising on a brief spell of pressure, the visitors took the lead in especially impressive fashion. Jake Vokins's in-swinging corner was curled in to a crowded box, where Ramsay's improvisation prompted the finest of finishes.

The full-back, sensing an opportunity as the ball bounced favourably, swivelled and acrobatically found the far corner in one swift movement to give his side a 19th minute advantage. But, conceding the lead sparked an increase in tempo from the hosts, who continued to move the ball with pace, without managing to penetrate the Saints backline.

Paris Maghoma lashed a shot narrowly wide on the half-hour mark, before target man Griffiths flashed an effort across the face of goal, which had a fretful Adam Parkes scrambling.

A characteristic Saints counter attack was the last action of a lively half, initiated by the energetic Vokins. Driving with purpose and endeavour over the half-way line, the full-back found Brennan inside, who in turn delivered a searching ball towards Hansen. The finish was disappointing, but was indicative of the visitor's threat on the break.

One lapse in concentration after the restart cost Saints dearly. Griffiths had the ball with his back to goal, before Christoph Klarer clumsily attempted to stab it clear. The defender made more contact with the player than ball, manhandling Griffiths as he predictably went to ground. 

Penalty awarded, and cooly dispatched by the young England international, who has been likened to first-team sensation Harry Kane after his recent goalscoring exploits, and who remained a danger throughout.

Relative stalemate reduced Spurs to half chances thereafter, mainly from set-pieces, as Maghoma fired a 20-yard free-kick over the bar on the hour mark. Shoring up defences, Saints were organised and systematic in their approach, remaining compact and restricting the space in midfield.

A final chance to seal it fell the way of the visitors five minutes from time. Vokins charged forwards, tenacious as ever, before crossing, where Max Stathom inadvertently headed the ball off his own crossbar. Spurs survived the ensuing melee, with substitute Enzo Robise forcing yet another good save from 'keeper de Bie - the Frenchman's introduction gave Saints a useful outlet in the closing stages.

A draw, upon reflection, was perhaps the fair result, though Saints' plucky youngsters conceivably had the clearer chances of an entertaining 90 minutes.

Spurs

1
Jonathan de Bie (GK) (C)
2
Tariq Hinds
3
Jamie Reynolds
4
Jamie Bowden
5
Max Stathom
6
Brooklyn Lyons-Foster
7
Rodel Richards
replace Rayan Clarke (80′)
8
Paris Maghoma
9
Reo Griffiths goal
10
Phoenix Patterson
11
J'Neil Lloyd-Bennett
replace Dilan Markanday (70′)
12
Dilan Markanday
13
Kacper Kurylowicz
14
Armando Shashoua
15
Rayan Clarke
16
Jubril Okedina

Southampton

1
Adam Parkes (GK)
2
Kayne Ramsay goal
3
Jake Vokins
4
Harry Hamblin yellow card
6
Kameron Ledwidge
6
Christoph Klarer (C)
7
Kornelius Hasen
8
Sean Brennan
replace Taymar Fleary (86′)
9
Trialist
replace Christian Norton (76′)
10
Will Smallbone
11
Jonathan Afolabi
replace Enzo Robise (68′)
12
Javen Siu
13
Alex Cull
14
Enzo Robise
15
Taymar Fleary
16
Christian Norton
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